August 12, 2004

Transparency and Trust

JD Lasica/OJR: Transparency Begets Trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere

Survey's have shown that most people trust the NYT, NPR and the LAT for online news. But:

Me too. Smaller bloggers are interesting, because they are making symetrical conversation with each other, sharing information and iterating, collaborating, but big media tends to focus on those that are at the top, because it fits the broadcast model they know. But I'm really interested in the huge conversations going on at the level where bloggers link to each other more symetrically, with say 50 to 250 inbound links each. Those are the ones where others bloggers see interesting ideas, come back for views and expertise that are valuable, time and again. And those are the places where people speak to each other, find connections and answer each others questions to find more truth and discourse.

From Technorati data, this chart from OJR shows how sites like Slashdot are in the top 5, for inbound links. Its not about conversation at this level. So why is this important? Blogs use and refer back to mainstream news, but they are also creators of content, act as filters, and have specialized expertise. So the NYT does get lots of links because people are discussing and linking to those articles. But sites like Slashdot are in the top 5 as well. It does resemble broadcast at the top of the chart, but as you move down it, it becomes more conversational and symetric in linking between blogs, and that where the real interesting stuff happens.

Posted by Mary Hodder at August 12, 2004 07:50 AM | TrackBack

I lost you somewhere.

People "trust" sources for many reasons, often related to psychology rather than any logical factor. Every con man knows this.

Slashdot is to the NYT as, say, Rush Limbaugh is to Dan Rather. But what's the implication meant?

It's as if you're saying "The President speaks to people via a national speech on TV, and this is a broadcast model. But people also speak to each other on the telephone, and this is symmetric. Isn't this phenomena called "speaking" fascinationg?"

Well, yes, there is certainly sociology in it, e.g. in what makes a credible speaker. But it almost seems that it's considered a revelation that newspapers are not, socially, like personal letters, even though they're both writings on paper (and being able to write a letter doesn't mean you have your own newspaper).

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at August 13, 2004 12:46 AM